Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Heart Between Us

The Heart Between Us:
Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List

Lindsay Harrel
(Harper Collins Christian Publishing)
ISBN: 978-0718075705
March 2018/336 pages/$15.99

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.


Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at


Oh. My. This is seriously going near the top of my list of favorite books of 2018, and the year is only a third of the way through! Lindsay Harrel grabbed my own heart from the moment I saw the title and description of this novel--not to mention the adorable cover!--and I was loath to set this book aside until the last sentence came to a reluctant, albeit quite satisfying, end. I'm at a loss for words to describe how perfectly crafted Megan and Crystal are. As I began reading, my natural inclination was to favor Megan over Crystal, but it wasn't long before Crystal found her way into my heart. I alternately ached and cheered for these twin sisters who have been through so much and who wonder if they will ever regain the closeness they once knew. I would never have guessed this is only Harrel's sophomore release, for she writes with the skill of a much more seasoned author as she perfectly stretches the tension between Megan and Crystal, alternates seamlessly between their perspectives, and sprinkles in just the right touch of romantic angst. And what a treat to travel the world vicariously as Megan endeavors to check off every item on her donor's bucket list. (Fair warning: keep a tissue handy for the scenes where Megan visits her donor's parents!) Do not miss this delightful and touching novel, and be sure to add Lindsay Harrel to your list of must-read authors!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Harper Collins/TNZ Fiction's The Fiction Guild. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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1 comment:

Hutt-Write Voice said...

I definitely want to read this one. I've always been drawn to transplant stories, and even more so now that I've had a corneal transplant a year ago.